Before you decide to adopt a dog, think about what that means. For the next 15 years or so, you will be completely responsible for your canine companion. That means you must be ready for...
Commitment. From adorable puppyhood, through doggie adolescence, maturity, and old age, your dog will rely on you to meet all his needs -- for food, shelter, care, companionship, and training.
Acceptance. Like people, dogs are individuals. Though members of a breed share characteristics, each dog will have his own personality. A shy dog will never be the life of the party, and an active dog will never be content to lie at your feet. You can train a dog to be well-behaved, but you cannot change his temperament.
Friendship. Dogs need your love and attention as much as they need food and water. Your dog will want to spend as much time with you as he can. In return, he will give you unconditional affection and admiration, even on a bad hair day.
Continued on page 2: Dog-Owner Basics